TEA Project’s State Maintainer Seats: A User’s Guide

Tea Project Blog
4 min readJul 12, 2022


What Do We Mean By the Global State of TEA Project?

The global state is the current up to date record reflecting the latest transactions of the TEA network. This will include assets owned in all wallets as well as the current state of all TApps. The global state maintainer nodes not only keep an up to date record of TEA Project’s global state but they also act as peer nodes that can sync up to the latest state with each other.

How To Profit From Global State Maintainer Nodes

There are three ways a user can profit from global state maintainer nodes:

  1. The user can buy a state maintainer seat and use that as a license to run a state maintainer node.
  2. The user can buy a state maintainer seat without intending to setup a state maintainer node (i.e. buying it as an investment).
  3. By owning the state maintainer global tokens, users can earn dividends even if they don’t hold a seat.

Let’s inspect each of these options in turn and look at the positives and negatives of each option. Although the following shouldn’t be taken as financial advice, we’ll try to lay out the risks involved with choosing each option.

Option 1: Setup a State Maintainer Node

This is the intended use of securing a state maintainer node license, which is to actually run a state maintainer node. Setting up a node requires some technical skills that not everyone in the TEA ecosystem will have. The node itself will cost money to run (hardware, networking, and electricity costs) which is another added expense.

Seat holders should understand that these licenses are administered under a Harberger Tax that involves a self-assessed valuation. The seat holder will set a self-valuation of the worth of their seat license. This price is also the price which anyone can buy the seat away from the existing holder. The Harberger Tax dilemma is like this for the seat holder: price it too low and the seat will be purchased away from them. Price it too high and they’ll have to pay a larger tax burden.

Seat owners will pay a state maintainer tax as was alluded above as part of the Harberger Tax. This tax is proportional to the node owner’s self-valuation and goes to pay both public services for hosting CML nodes and dividends for global token holders.

Income for state maintainer node owners comes from the collection pool. The collection pool collects the state memory tax from TApp developers who pay to use the state memory as a service.

Note that this option will be available only sparingly during the first 2 years after mainnet launch as the TEA Project team will run most of the state maintainer nodes out of security concerns.

Option 2: Buy a Seat License as an Investment

Users can buy a seat license without running a node. They would still have to give a self-valuation and pay a tax based on that valuation.

The value of the seat itself can be thought of an investment as it can go up in value (with a rising tax burden) as well as down.

As far as income for seat license holders who don’t run a node, the calculation is a little complicated.

  • During the first two years after mainnet launches, most of the state maintainer nodes will be run by the TEA Project team for security reasons. This period of time will allow community members to purchase seat licenses and earn from the collection pool even without running a node.
  • As we transition out of the locked period where only the TEA Project team can run nodes, we’ll start requiring community members who hold state maintainer seat licenses to actually run a node to earn from the collection pool.

Option 3: Hold Global Tokens

Purchasing global tokens will give user’s a share of the Harberger Tax paid by the state maintainer seat holders.

The dividend that global token holders get is only after all public service rewards (e.g. remote attestation) have been paid out from the Harberger tax. If there’s nothing left after public service rewards have been paid, then global token holders will not receive a dividend for that round.

Different Paths For Users to Follow

There are 3 paths for each user to decide which is best for them. Running a node will not be an option until the platform matures, which would leave buying a seat license without running a node as the only available seat-related option. But Harberger Taxes are expensive and with all the self-valuations required will be a hassle to maintain. Other users who don’t want to deal with these issues can simply opt to hold global tokens.

Which strategy is better? Feel free to discuss in our Telegram group: https://t.me/teaprojectorg